Zarya - Soviet, Russian and International Spaceflight
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Gallimaufry


Scarborough, UK
2014 Apr 19
Saturday, Day 109

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Firsts in Space

Here is a list of launches. Each is the first successful orbital launch by an individual country or space organisation. It is not necessarily a first attempt to orbit a satellite but it is the first where an object succesfully completed one circuit of the Earth and found its way into the catalogue.

In most cases, it is possible to see that the mission was designed by erring on the side of caution. Loft the vehicle as high as possible, and with as much speed as possible. The result is an elliptical orbit with apogee dictated by the 'overspeed' at the injection point.


Soviet Union/Russian Federation

1957-001
Sputnik 8K71PS
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

1957 Oct 4,   19:28 UTC
Sputnik  (PS-1)
1957 α 2
00002

Re-entered - 1958 Jan 3
World's first artificial satellite, instrumented sphere with radio transmitter. Built in short period of time because of delays in Korolyov's 'Object-D' science satellite. The orbit shown in approximate.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1957 Oct 4, 19:1869540.052021493896.1965.1058


United States of America

1958-001
Jupiter C
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA

1958 Feb 1,   03:47 UTC
Explorer I   
1958 α 1
00004

Re-entered - 1970 Mar 31
Scientific satellite to measure cosmic radiation and micrometeoroid density. Discovered the van Allen radiation belts around the Earth.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1958 Feb 1, 03:4878300.13943602543114.9233.2553


France

1965-096
Diamant A № 1
Hammaguir, Algeria

1965 Nov 26,   14:47 UTC
A-1  (Asterix)
1965-096A
01778

 
Payload carried on the first Diamant rocket launch, fitted with navigation test equipment. Some time after launch it was named after the French cartoon character Astérix

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1966 Jan 29, 14:0975440.08455281803108.6834.24148



1967-118
SPARTA
Woomera Test Range, Australia

1967 Nov 29,   04:49 UTC
WRESAT  (Weapons Research Establishment Satellite)
1967-118A
03054

Re-entered - 1968 Jan 10
Upper atmosphere research satellite also acting as a testbed for future European launches. The launch vehicle was built using stages supplied by the US under a joint programme that also included the UK.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1967 Nov 30, 07:2470810.0750172123398.8283.31336


Japan

1970-011
Lambda 4S
Uchinoura SC, Japan

1970 Feb 11,   04:25 UTC
Ohsumi  (L-4S-5)
1970-011A
04330

Re-entered - 2003 Aug 2
Test payload for first satellite launch by Japan. Built round the casing of the launch vehicle fourth stage. Named after the Ohsumi province of Japan.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1970 Feb 12, 18:2791190.26333395142144.4331.08122


Peoples' Republic of China

1970-034
CZ-1
Jiuquan Space Centre, China

1970 Apr 24,   13:35 UTC
Dong Fang Hong 1   
1970-034A
04382

 
Satellite technology demonstrator. Transmitted the revolutionary tune "The East Is Red".

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1970 Apr 25, 02:1977910.12454432383114.0768.44143


United Kingdom

1971-093
Black Arrow
Woomera Test Range, Australia

1971 Oct 28,   04:09 UTC
Prospero  (X-3)
1971-093A
05580

 
UK built and launched science satellite testing solar cells and carrying a micro-meteoroid detector.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1971 Oct 29, 03:2874420.06975441582106.4882.06336


Arianespace

1979-104
Ariane 1 (L-01)
Centre Spatiale Guyanaise, French Guiana

1979 Dec 24,   17:14 UTC
Capsule Ariane Technologie 1   
1979-104A
11645

Re-entered - 1989 Nov 27
Package of instruments to monitor the performance of the Ariane rocket.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1980 Jan 23, 15:52243820.730918335825631.4817.63212


India

1980-062
SLV-3
Satish Dharwan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India

1980 Jul 18,   02:33 UTC
Rohini RS-1   
1980-062A
11899

Re-entered - 1981 May 20
Satellite equipped with a package of instruments to measure performance of the SLV-3 launch vehicle.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1980 Jul 18, 19:4069910.043930691996.9544.75169


Israel

1988-087
Shavit
Palmachim AFB, Israel

1988 Sep 19,   09:32 UTC
Ofeq 1  (Horizon 1)
1988-087A
19519

Re-entered - 1989 Jan 14
Optical reconnaissance satellite monitoring the Middle East from highly retrograde orbit.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
1988 Sep 21, 05:4470760.0636248114898.73142.8770


Iran

2009-004
Safir 1
Semnan Launch Site, Iran

2009 Feb 2,   18:34 UTC
Omid  (Hope)
2009-004A
33506

Re-entered - 2009 Apr 25
Demonstration satellite reportedly including 'store and forward' payload to test up and down comms links. Success reported two days after launch. Mass 27.270 kg and powered by onboard batteries which became exhausted around Feb 20. Iran stated that it ceased to operate at the time it re-entered.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
2009 Feb 2, 21:0666900.010424338290.7755.52152


North Korea

2012-072
Unha 3
Sohae Launch Centre, North Korea

2012 Dec 12,   00:49 UTC
Kwangmyongsong 3  (Lodestar 3)
2012-072A
39026

 
Reportedly for remote imaging. Mass 100 kg. Precise launch time 00:49:46 UTC, about 140 min into the window. Released from launch vehicle at 00:59:13 UTC. Launch vehicle followed a dog-leg ground track to avoid overflight of China and the Philippines during the ascent.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
desc node
local time
2012 Dec 13, 17:4169180.006049858295.4497.4116708:59


South Korea

2013-003
Naro 1
Naro Space Centre, South Korea

2013 Jan 30,   07:00 UTC
STSat 2C   
2013-003A
39068

 
South Korean research satellite for solar observation, also equipped with a laser ranging device to measure orbit height. Similar to STSat 2 and STSat 2B, both lost in launch failures during 2009 and 2010.

epoch (UTC)
s-m axis
( km )

ecc
perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl
( ° )
ω 
( ° )
2013 Jan 30, 08:0772800.08372921511103.0380.29166

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